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16 - Aquinas Aquinas promoted the use of reason in an...

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Aquinas Aquinas promoted the use of reason in an Aristotelian manner, namely that of inference from effects to causes. He criticized the claim made by Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th century that we know that God exists simply by understanding the concept of God. God is that greater than which nothing can be conceived, and it is evident that such a being must exist. The following is a transcript from and Australian TV mini-series, ôBrides of Christ,ö which is to my knowledge the only dramatization of the ontological argument in the mass media. The characters are a teaching nun and her pupils, the novitiates at her convent. Teacher: St. Anselm proved the existence of God in the following way: God, he argued, is that than which no greater can be thought. Does anyone not follow that? [Several novices raise their hands.] Teacher: Any concept, no matter how great, allows us to infer an identical one that does not exist, and the second one is ipso facto the greater. Since God must be the greatest thing anyone
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